Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps is interrupted by protesters as she introduces Environment Minister Catherine McKenna for an announcement of a conservation project, Oak Bay, Aug. 19, 2019. (Black Press Media)

B.C. VIEWS: Pipelines set to roll as federal politicians posture

Projects to drive B.C., Canadian economy in years ahead

The federal election campaign got off to an unofficial start here in Victoria with a rare appearance by Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, to re-announce one of 49 new conservation projects established across the country in the Trudeau Liberals’ pre-election budget.

The beautiful seaside vista of Cattle Point in Oak Bay was an appropriate choice to kick off the chaos and lunacy that will pass for debate about how Canada can continue to develop its energy resources while somehow leading the world into a carbon-free future.

It’s a good spot to watch the daily Alaska crude tankers wind their way past the San Juan Islands to the massive refinery complexes at Anacortes, Cherry Point and the Ferndale Industrial Zone, the Washington state terminus of the Trans Mountain oil pipeline for 65 years.

McKenna was greeted by a handful of members of our protest community, with the obligatory plastic orca and banners. An elderly fellow declared himself a representative of the previously unknown “Extinction Rebellion Vancouver Island” and announced he was going to use plastic zap straps to take McKenna into “protective custody.” This was to protect her from more violent protesters because, according to his sign, she’s a “climate criminal.”

The old guy was led away by police after local media uncritically lapped up the exciting visuals. It’s not clear to me whether this spin-off from a British road-blocking protest group wants to eliminate carbon fuel use in 12 years, or three, or three months or whatever, but get used to this kind of nonsense around federal campaign events.

RELATED: Trans Mountain gives contractors 30 days to get ready

RELATED: Big construction projects to drive big migration to B.C.

Green Party leader Elizabeth May recently declared that it’s four years to the tipping point for Canada. Not this October’s election but the one after that, some kind of magical transformation has to take place so Canada can eliminate its CO2 emissions, a shift that would be overtaken by China’s industrial expansion in a few weeks. This will be a key topic of the leaders’ debates in the days ahead, but I predict no one will mention the China part.

Meanwhile in the real world, the Trans Mountain expansion got the go-ahead to resume work last week, as promised by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Builders were given one month to hire workers, set up sites and get some pipe into the ground by early October to deliver the project Trudeau’s government bought in order to complete it.

That’s not all that will be rolling at election time. LNG Canada and its gas pipeline across northern B.C. are gearing up, and it will soon be joined by Woodfibre LNG, with a liquefied natural gas export facility near Squamish.

Woodfibre began buying key equipment after the Trudeau government exempted Asian LNG components from its steel tariffs. That was denounced by the United Steelworkers, which demands that someone create a parallel industry in North America.

According to the latest economic forecast by Central 1 Credit Union, these mega-projects, along with the ongoing Site C dam, the Pattullo Bridge replacement and the Broadway subway in Vancouver, are going to drive the B.C. economy in the years to come. The group representing credit unions in B.C. and Ontario calculates that interprovincial migration is going to jump from 3,400 people this year to 12,000 in 2020, as skilled workers migrate.

Add that to thousands of international immigrants to B.C. each year, and you get a clearer picture of our impact on the environment and its direction.

Tom Fletcher is B.C. legislature reporter and columnist for Black Press Media. Email: tfletcher@blackpress.ca


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Metro floats proposal for river bus service on the Fraser

Electric vessels would serve Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows and other river cities

Being Young: Lost in translation

Learning a second language will always be useful.

Burned out renters can’t find housing in Maple Ridge

Tight rental market, high rent costs create desperate situation

VIDEO: B.C. couple creates three-storey ‘doggie mansion’ for their five pups

Group of seven, who Kylee Ryan has dubbed as the ‘wandering paws,’ have a neat setup in Jade City

Paul Bissonnette joins Vancouver Warriors after tweeting he could walk on to an NLL club

Bissonnette will join the Warriors for their final week of training camp at Rogers Arena

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Body found after SUV found fully engulfed in flames in Abbotsford field

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team have been called in

Family of B.C. man killed in hit-and-run plead for tips, one year later

Cameron Kerr’s family says the driver and passengers tried to cover their tracks

Princeton couple pays for dream vacation with 840,000 grocery store points

It’s easy if you know what you are doing, they say

Chilliwack family’s dog missing after using online pet-sitting service

Frankie the pit bull bolted and hit by a car shortly after drop off through Rover.com

B.C. wildlife experts urge hunters to switch ammo to stop lead poisoning in birds

OWL, in Delta, is currently treating two eagles for lead poisoning

Most Read